All of us struggle to maintain certain behaviors that we know are healthy for us. Certain behaviors such as exercising frequently, maintaining a healthy diet, or practicing mindfulness, can seem like an uphill battle.
There are ways to make these challenging habits more appealing and simpler to maintain, though.
Link the habit to something positive that you already enjoy
Reflect on that healthy activity you find motivating and let it be the driving force. If you want to start exercising more frequently, you may choose a sort of exercise you like and plan it at the time of day when you feel the most energized. In this manner, you not only create a healthy habit for yourself but also engage in enjoyable activity.
Break it down into smaller, more manageable steps
It takes time to implement changes in your life so you’ve got to be strategic about it one step at a time. If you want to start eating healthier, start by making one modest adjustment at a time, like giving up sugary drinks or increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables you include in your meals. You are more likely to maintain the habit and experience a sense of accomplishment as you advance if you start out little.
Set rewards for yourself
This is where you use the strategy of positive reinforcement to your advantage. For instance, reward yourself with a fun activity after finishing your habit. You may do this by going out treating yourself to a sumptuous meal or by watching your favorite TV show. You are more likely to desire to continue the behavior if you treat yourself for staying with it in the future.
Find an accountability partner
This is also another proven way of making healthy habits permanent. Having someone who you are accountable to can make it easier to stick to a habit. This could be a friend, family member, or even a coach or therapist. Having someone to check in with on a regular basis can also provide motivation and support.
Create a visual reminder
It is also easier to remember to practice a habit if you can see a visual reminder of it. A visual representation inspires you to take action. A post-it note on your bathroom mirror, a photo of a healthy meal on your fridge, or even a photo of yourself when you reached your fitness goal could serve as this.
Make the habit more social
Let’s face it, everything becomes more appealing when it gets social because social activities are often more enjoyable than solitary ones. If you want to start exercising regularly, you could find a workout buddy, join a sports team, or take a group fitness class.
Reflect on your progress
It is very important to take time to reflect on your progress. Doing this can help you stay motivated. Keep a journal where you can write down your thoughts and feelings about the habit. Another reason this is helpful is because it can help you identify any obstacles that you might encounter and find ways to overcome them.
Make the habit more convenient
You’ll be more likely to stop at the gym and workout if you realize it’s on your way to work or school. You’ll be more likely to read if you subscribed for an audiobook. Making healthy habits convenient reduces the effort it takes to gather the courage to do it in the first place, hence, increasing your chances of sticking to it and improving your life in the long run.
These are some more strategies that can help you make difficult habits more attractive. Remember, it’s important to find what works for you and to be patient with yourself. It’s not going to happen overnight, but with time and consistency, you’ll be able to make these habits a part of your daily routine.